Prelims level : Environment Institutions Mains level : GS-III Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment
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  • Three endangered species from India – the Great Indian Bustard, the Asiatic elephant and the Bengal Florican – are to be included in a special global list for protection under the Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species.

Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species.

  • CMS is an international treaty concluded under aegis of UN Environment Programme (UNEP), concerned with conservation of wildlife and habitats on a global scale.
  • It is commonly abbreviated as Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) or the Bonn Convention.
  • It aims to conserve terrestrial, marine and avian migratory species throughout their range.
  • It was signed in 1979 in Bonn (hence the name), Germany and entered into force in 1983.
  • Its headquarters are in Bonn, Germany.
  • CMS is the only global and UN-based intergovernmental organization established exclusively for conservation and management of terrestrial, aquatic and avian migratory species throughout their range.
  • CMS brings together the States through which migratory animals pass, the Range States, and lays the legal foundation for internationally coordinated conservation measures throughout a migratory range.
  • It is the only global convention specializing in the conservation of migratory species, their habitats and migration routes.

CMS and its Implementation:

  • CMS complements and co-operates with a number of other international organizations, NGOs and partners in the media as well as in the corporate sector.
  • Appendix I of the Convention:
    • Migratory species threatened with extinction are listed on Appendix I of the Convention.
    • CMS Parties strive towards strictly protecting these animals, conserving or restoring the places where they live, mitigating obstacles to migration and controlling other factors that might endanger them.
    • Besides establishing obligations for each State joining the Convention, CMS promotes concerted action among the Range States of many of these species.
  • Appendix II of the Convention
    • Migratory species that need or would significantly benefit from international co-operation are listed in Appendix II of the Convention.
    • For this reason, the Convention encourages the Range States to conclude global or Regional Agreements.
  • In this respect, CMS acts as a framework Convention. The agreements may range from legally binding treaties (called Agreements) to less formal instruments, such as Memoranda of Understanding, and can be adapted to the requirements of particular regions.

CMS- Conference of Parties 13:

  • The Conference of the Parties (COP) is the principal decision making body of the Convention.
  • It meets once every three years and sets the budget and priorities of the following three years (the triennium).
  • The 13th Conference of Parties (COP) of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS) of Wild Animals will be hosted by India.
  • The conference will be organized by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in Gandhinagar, from 17th – 22nd February 2020.
  • The theme for 2020 is “Migratory species connect the planet and together we welcome them home”. The 2020 mascot is Gigi – the Great Indian Bustard.
  • These birds are dying at the rate of 15 per cent annually due to collision with high-voltage power lines.
  • In the last 30 years, their population has reduced drastically by nearly 75 percent. Their inclusion in the list of species for protection under the CMS will enable range countries to protect and conserve these migratory birds.
  • It is a critically endangered species which has been accorded the highest protection status under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
  • India is Signatory to the CMS since 1983.
  • India has been taking necessary actions to protect and conserve migratory marine species.
  • Seven species that include Dugong, Whale Shark, Marine Turtle (two species), have been identified for preparation of Conservation and Recovery Action Plan.

What are Migratory Species? Why Protect Them?

  • Migratory species are those animals that move from one habitat to another during different times of the year, due to various factors such as food, sunlight, temperature, climate, etc.
  • The movement between habitats, can sometimes exceed thousands of miles/kilometres for some migratory birds and mammals. A migratory route can involve nesting and also requires the availability of habitats before and after each migration.
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